Noûs 51 (4):686-712 (2017)

Barry Maguire
University of Edinburgh
There are several powerful motivations for neutral value-based deontic theories such as Act Consequentialism. Traditionally, such theories have had great difficulty accounting for partiality towards one's personal relationships and projects. This paper presents a neutral value-based theory that preserves the motivations for Act Consequentialism while vindicating some crucial intuitions about reasons to be partial. There are two central ideas. The first is that when it comes to working out what you ought to do, your friends’ interests, the needs of your family, the significance of your own projects and ideals, etc. have more weight than the interests and needs of strangers. Your friends’ interests are not more neutrally valuable than the interests of others. So there is a difference between the value of an outcome and its deontic significance. The second familiar idea is that reasons are modifiable. Reasons of partiality are reasons the weights of which are a function of the value of the relevant outcome modified by facts about the value of caring about the outcome in question. The resulting principle has various further explanatory advantages; in particular, it accounts for project- and relationship-specific permissions and requirements, both at a time and across time.
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12169
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References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):574-576.
Equality and Priority.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Ratio 10 (3):202–221.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Value-Based Theory of Reasons.Barry Maguire - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
Agent-Relative Reasons as Second-Order Value Responses.Jörg Löschke - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):477-491.
Promises, Obligation, and Reliance.Alexander Heape - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (1):150-170.

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